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The Strange Things Boutique




DVD . Trinity.

InkubusDirector Glenn Ciano almost damns his debut film before it starts, with his stated claim to want to make a film that is a ‘nuts and guts’ throwback to Eighties horror. But Inkubus is actually far from the gory but vacuous films that emerged in that culturally empty decade, instead being a decidedly modern, nihilistic and unsettling tale of demons, both literal and emotional.

When a teenager is arrested covered in his dead girlfriend’s blood, Detective Caretti (Joey Fatone) understandably has trouble believing his story about a dark presence that popped up, chopped the girl’s head off and then jumped out of the window. But things take a bizarre turn as a mysterious figure calling himself Inkubus (Robert Englund) arrives at the run down police station, carrying the severed head, and proceeds to play mind games with the police force, including retired detective Gil Diamante (William Forsythe), who’s wife was murdered by Inkubus thirteen years earlier.

What follows is a mix of psychological mind trickery and graphic gore as Inkubus taunts his ‘captors’ with confessions of murders ranging from Jack to Ripper to The Black Dahlia, manipulates them into acts of violence and engages in gruesome slaughter himself.

This is a tricky, fascinating film that benefits immensely from Englund’s performance. All too often called on to chew the scenery, here he’s subtle, quiet and remarkably chilling. If the rest of the cast struggle to keep up, that’s no real reflection on them.
Ciano is not adverse to gory excess – and some scenes, including the opening ‘demon birth’, are entirely gratuitous (this crude opening almost put me off watching the film), but his film is at its most effective when the horrors are internal. There are some impressively atmospheric visual moments – though others look rather too flat, betraying the video source. A bit of film look grading wouldn’t have gone amiss in the more brightly lit scenes. The best bits – dark, moody and eerie – suggest a filmmaker with a good eye though.

Inkubus is a lot better than you would expect it to be. Not a perfect film by any means, but an intriguing, entertaining horror tale that fans of edgy horror should find to their taste.






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